‘Government. had only reported 120 acres as a protected area ‘
On the eve of World Heritage Day, which is celebrated on April 18 each year, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Arts and Heritage) members, culture enthusiasts and environmentalists in the city believe that the state government GO Rt No. 21, which was adopted on February 12, 2021 amending GO 27 of July 13, 1978 with regard to the Thotlakonda protected area in survey No. 314.
According to the new GO, the government in the Buddhist monastery Thotlakonda from the 2nd century BC Only 120 acres registered as a protected area. What INTACH members and heritage enthusiasts think this is not in line with the norms of protecting heritage sites and the government has bypassed the concept of the buffer zone around each protected monument.
In the earlier GO of 1978, around 3,000 acres were reported as a protected area.
This GO was annulled by the government because it covered a wide area, including the adjacent Buddhist cultural heritage of Bavikonda. The authorities concerned failed to take into account the 300 meter buffer zone around the site and forgot to consider studies that suggest that the excavations previously carried out by the State Department of Archeology and Museums were only partially carried out and there is likely strong evidence for ancient history gives buried in the site before Buddhist times. If destroyed, it will wipe out the ancient historical civilization of Visakhapatnam, said Mayank Deo, INTACH Convenor (Chapter Vizag).
INTACH has already filed an appeal, requesting that at least 600 acres be considered a protected area and based on a full survey by experts from the Archaeological Society of India, the decision on the protected area will be made.
World Heritage Day, initiated by UNESCO, is celebrated around the world to raise awareness of the protection, preservation and preservation of heritage and culture.
The day has been sponsored by ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, since 1982. This year’s theme is “A glorious past, a diverse future”.
“Protection of Historic Buildings”
Aside from a rich Buddhist heritage with around 40 sites in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam districts, there are around 80 to 85 listed buildings under GVMC boundaries, such as the Queen Mary School, City Hall, and St. Aloysius School. However, VMRDA has not formed a committee to investigate, investigate, and list them. “We asked VMRDA to do the job so that the buildings could be officially declared protected, but it is still pending,” Ms. Mayank said.
Jaisree Hatangadi, a heritage lover who walks around these buildings to raise awareness, said if the buildings built were not notified and protected, each of them would very soon suffer the same fate as that of ‘Panchwati’ . the official residence of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan as Vice Chancellor of the AU or that of the Kurupam Market Gate and the demolished bell tower.
Queen Mary’s High School for Girls is another structure that INTACH members need to focus on. The building was built in 1750 with funds from the Godey family. In the 18th and 19th centuries it served as a district collector and also as an armory for some time.
Although the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has set aside a £ 10 lakh fund for its renovation, work has yet to begin for reasons known to the district administration.
“If work is not started and the building is left to its fate, it will slowly collapse and one day it will be gone and we will have nothing left for posterity,” said Edward Paul, the city’s historian.